Inter-League Organizations

Inter-League Organizations (ILOs) are formal LWV organizations recognized by the LWV United States. ILOs are established because their members recognize the need to work together at the regional level to most effectively and responsibly solve problems that transcend political boundaries.


Council of Metropolitan Area Leagues (CMAL)


The Council of Metropolitan Area Leagues (CMAL) is an Inter-League Organization (ILO) made up of all local LWV members in the seven-county Twin Cities metropolitan area. This ILO was founded over 50 years ago and has written many educational publications to educate metro area League members and the general public on issues and concerns specific to the Twin Cities region.

Based on its studies, CMAL has taken positions through a process of consensus to advocate and lobby for its positions (see section in LWV Minnesota’s Program for Action). CMAL helped to pass the groundbreaking revenue-sharing law in 1971 known as “Fiscal Disparities.” CMAL has also supported the services provided by the Metropolitan Council.

Officers & Board of Directors

  • Chair - Karen Schaffer

  • Vice President - Ardyth Norem

  • Secretary - Martha Micks

  • Treasurer - Holly Jenkins

  • Communications - Kate Redden

  • Directors - Peg DuBord, Susan Anderson, Lynn Gitelis

Contact Information

Current Study

At its annual meeting in April 2018, CMAL established a committee of its members to update CMAL’s position on Metropolitan Council Governance. The committee’s goal was to educate its members about the current and possible changes for governance and to update our current position, if a consensus was reached by members. There were 33 LWV Minnesota members from 16 local Leagues who interviewed 50 local elected officials, city staff and county staff.

Timeline for 2019:

  • January 4: Final committee report available for member review.

  • January 5: CMAL will host a delegate workshop to prepare for consensus process.

  • January/February: Metro-wide LWV meetings where the consensus questions will be asked and responses recorded.

  • February 28: All responses are due back to CMAL.

  • March 9: If deemed appropriate based on member responses, a new position will be adopted by CMAL Board of Directors.

Toolkit for Met Council Governance Consensus Study:

Upper Mississippi River Region (UMRR)


Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa and Illinois are establishing an ILO to pursue protecting the Upper Mississippi River Basin. UMRR believes the proposed ILO could increase the clout and effectiveness of the LWV’s work on natural resource issues by: 

  • Developing educational programming to be shared among the ILO’s Leagues to increase the public’s understanding of the natural resource issues in the region. 

  • Coordinating our advocacy efforts across state lines and in numerous congressional districts to better promote the collective interests of the region before Congress and the federal agencies.  

  • Monitoring local, state, regional, and federal proposals that affect the interests of the region and then distributing that information and making recommendations to the appropriate state or local LWVs for action.  

Officers & Board of Directors

  • President - Gretchen Sabel

Contact Information


History of UMRR

Members of the LWVs in Jo Davies County, IL and Dubuque, IA first met to discuss the idea of forming an ILO in June 2014 after collaborating to present the program Storm Water From the Ground Up, a project of the LWV-Lake Michigan Region ILO.  We formed a steering committee and began reaching out to local LWVs in our region.  Since then we have received the approval of the state LWV boards in Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Illinois to pursue the development of the ILO.  We are in the process of contacting the 78 local LWVs in these states, informing them of our plans to form an ILO, and asking for their support.  So far 33 local LWVs have indicated that they are interested in joining the LWV-UMRR ILO.

What Will Happen Next?

LWVUS suggests that to receive formal approval for the ILO, we must engage the support of 2/3s of the local LWVs representing at least 2/3s of the total League membership in the four-state region. With 33 of the 78 possible LWVs on board, we need to engage the support of another 20 LWVs to be able to go on to the next steps.  We also have to make sure that the total membership of the LWVs we have on board adds up to 2/3s of the total membership in the four state region.  We would have a problem with that if we get the support of many small LWVs but not the big ones.  

Once we have the requisite number of LWVs and members on board, we will begin planning the first annual meeting of the LWV-UMRR ILO.  At that meeting, we will elect officers and approve by laws.  Please note that we are proposing no per member payment for your LWV members to belong to the ILO.  We anticipate a per league payment of $25.00 annually.